At least two of us enjoyed the snow. Max hates cold weather and the chickens could not be coaxed out in their yard, even with their favorite treats. A couple of the hens tried, but the minute their feet sunk into the snow, they flew straight up. We did alot of inside stuff like building more shelves in the growing room and planting more seeds in tiny cubes of soil.
Sunday morning, I looked out the kitchen window and spotted a large bald eagle near the top of one of our tall locust trees. She/he hung out for over an hour--no chickens were harmed. Speaking of chickens, one of our new hens laid her first egg--she had lots of help from our largest laying hen who decided squeeze in on top of her in the nest. And, we planted our first seeds of the 2011 growing season--onions, broccoli, cabbage, and lettuce--over 800 seeds.
We had beautiful weather Saturday morning which allowed for intense, outdoor farm work. We took three more loads of soil from mole hills in the pasture--the greenhouse raised bed is done on one side--enough to let Mark build a growing shelf for small seedlings. The real fun was using the 14' orchard ladder to prune the apple trees. Easier said than done---trying to position the ladder where the pruning needs to be done is tricky and of course, we didn't have exactly the right pruning tool. Mark may be a little taller today from all of the stretching and reaching he did to take out some of the 'water spout' branches. Max and I were the ground crew--pruning back blackberries and picking up branches. All five tree trunks are hollowed out--how do they keep growing? One tree had a blackberry vine growing up inside the trunk about 20 feet and out through a hole in the trunk. It's gone now!
Our pasture is the home of one or more very industrious moles and we put their hundreds of hills to good use this weekend. We need soil for the raised beds in the green house, so we took the riding lawn mower and trailer out in the pasture--Mark shoveled the the mole hill soil into the trailer while I drove. We (or rather Mark) shoveled three trailer loads from mole hills alone.
We also had a consult from Jeb Thurow from the South Sound Fruit Society regarding how to prune our very old apple trees. Seems our trees have alot of 'water sprouts' which are thin branches that grow straight up. We need to prune those over time--like 25% each year for four years. That will help the real branches continue to grow.
This blog reflects the journey of Kathleen and Mark who have left suburbia to steward this historical property and transform the land back into a working farm.